Written by Dominic Dezzutti

If a major foreign policy blunder occurs in a desert and no one hears it, does it still threaten national security?

Whether we like it or not, we’re about to find out.

A CIA spy drone aircraft either crashed or was shot down in Iran last week, but contrary to conventional wisdom, the drone landed in one piece and apparently in good condition.

Iranian military experts are saying that they are nearly finished with their “reverse engineering” on the drone. They also claim that they will begin building their own drones with the technology in the near future.

I’m not terribly worried about a new line of drones coming out of Iran anytime soon, but the fact that they can even talk about that ability now is scary.

The only thing scarier than the technological aspirations of the Iranians was the request from the Obama administration for the drone back.

How exactly do you think that request was worded? Here’s just a guess from me.

“Dear Iran. It has come to our attention that one of our spy drones is now in your possession after we somehow allowed it to fall into your hands while we were trying to spy on you. Clearly, the property does not belong to you since there is no reason for you to spy on your own country. Despite the fact that we used the drone to illegally spy on you, we would appreciate the return of our property. Warm Regards, the United States of America.”

Ok, maybe the request was phrased a bit differently, but my example at least captures how absurd the request was to make.

The other absurdity of the situation is the fact that somehow we have the technology to launch an unmanned spy drone, but we can’t make the thing self-destruct. It doesn’t seem like we would need the technological innovations of a Tom Clancy novel to figure out a way to make sure this kind of technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

The real problem isn’t the idea that there will be a new line of Iranian spy drones. The problem is that they will share this technology with nations like Russia and China who could actually re-create, or worse yet learn to disable, the technology.

Finally, the biggest problem I have with this debacle is the fact that it is getting very little press and notice. If one of our drones landed in Shanghai, we would be worried and it would be front page news. But the fact of the matter is that it might as well have because of the relationship between Iran and China.

Sadly, this is the kind of foreign policy disaster that we really won’t feel personally for some time. It’s going to take some time for Iran to give the tech specs to China, and even more time for China to turn the technology into a weapon against our nation. But eventually, they will turn it against us. It is simply a matter of time.

It may be embarrassing for the CIA to talk about, but the more important value is for Americans to truly know the potential price of this blunder. We need to focus on being prepared for this coming back to bite us and more importantly how to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

If we stay distracted, we’re only asking for an even bigger disaster to happen.
About The Blogger

– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.


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